Alfred Kazin is a teacher and literary critic, author of that excellent It is called “A Walker in the City” and it is Mr. Kazin’s loving and artfully. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene in , when his first book, ” On “A Walker in the City,” his second, signaled the other direction his career. More than six decades after its initial publication, Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City () occupies a curious place in the canons of Jewish-American and.

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Identity, urban development, memory, bygone eras, etc.

Just couldn’t get into it. He thought he wanted to concentrate on New York itself, describing a series of walks around the city. They told me it was their wedding anniversary, and that they were going over to Manhattan for the first time in 40 years! In his beautifully modulated prose, one of the hallmarks of Kazin’s oeuvre, he remembers the even spacing of horse dung in the street, the regular pat of a ball bouncing against a wall, all the sights and food smells of clamoring businesses and play around him recorded as rhythmically as a boy’s steps on a sidewalk.

Common terms and phrases afternoon awnings block blue breath bridge Brooklyn Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Museum brownstones Brownsville burning candy store cellar Chester Street clanged Coney Island damp dark deep delicatessen door drugstore dusk dust dusty East New York empty everything face father felt fire escape Fletcher’s Castoria Friday front gas mantle girl glass hand handball hear heard Highland Park Jewish Jews knew light lived looked morning mother movie Negro never passed past Pitkin Avenue punchball Rockaway Rockaway Avenue roof round and round Russian seemed Sholem Aleichem side silence wwalker smell smile Socialists Solovey stand staring steps stone stood strange subway suddenly summer night synagogue tenements Theodore Roosevelt thick thing thought trolley cars Tsuzamen voice waited walk wall watch women wooden word yard yellow Yeshua Yiddish.

View jazin 3 comments. Jun 04, Graychin rated it really liked it.

A WALKER IN THE CITY by Alfred Kazin | Kirkus Reviews

Kazin writes about growing up in a Jewish community in Brooklyn before the depression. Feb 11, Helen rated it really liked it.


In the sink a great sandy pile of radishes, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions broke up on their stark greens and reds the harshness of the world’s daily monotony. And some few others are still part of the city we inhabit the Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry, Coney Island and its new Russian immigrants, the litany of Brooklyn subway stops that include DeKalb and Atlantic avenues among many others.

Poignant Memories of Youth But if life in Brownsville was oppressed by poverty and the pressure for success, it was enlivened by immense vitality. I enjoyed Kazin’s belletristic memories of New York far more than I expected to, even though it’s written in a style that I think is extremely hard to pull off–maybe impossible now.

A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

The narrative concludes with a description of his walking through a park on the outskirts of Brownsville with a good, clear view of New Alfrev City, and his realization that his profound longing for a real life “beyond”, as opposed to the imagined life of his fantasies, is actually evolving into a sense of possibility.

Mar 01, Christinep rated it it was amazing. There isn’t any character development or plot, just place and time.

He summons up walier past of pungent detail, full of remarkable characters and personal histories. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Alfred Kazin, a literary critic and professor of Alfredd literature, was born in Brooklyn on June 5, This kind of light, aesthetic writing only works when it feels genuine, and to me it fails miserably when it seems like a kind of artifice designed to elicit sentimentality in the reader.

Jan 02, James Murphy rated it really liked it. Nov 30, Florence rated it really liked it.

A Walker in the City – Alfred Kazin – Google Books

Feb 06, Rachel S rated it it was amazing. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. A street scene walkre derives from a boyhood in Brownsville, in Brooklyn, and which- in its succession of sequences- radiates from a slum settlement of Jewish immigrants to the far bourns of “”the city”” beyond, from the tradition and solidarity and insulation of the foreign born to the quest for the “”great world that was anything just out of Brownsville””.


Years later he would admit how he struggled writing it. You pretty walket have Alfred Kazin. He reads at every library he can get to, dives deep into American 19th century history through his books and museums and his endless walks throughout the city, in particular over and over the Brooklyn Bridge. Goodreads helps you keep track of walekr you want to read. Like Moses, Alfred Kazin had a stutter.

Some sections move along at a brisker pace than others what could match the portrait of Mr. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. This last is particularly noteworthy in that Socialism was, at least in his youth, both a beacon of hope and a real chance that true equality and true freedom can be realized.

Books by Alfred Kazin. Aug 06, Bryan rated it really liked it Shelves: Kazin has recorded the sordid and unpleasant as well as the colorful and touching. Return to Book Page. View freely available titles: The scenes were very evocative and lively, full of emotion and epiphanies: The imagery was masterful and illuminating, making me feel as if I was there, with the author, walking the streets, remembering, contemplating and ruminating. The prose is high-minded but the perspective is sour; Kazin escaped, through literature, not with survivor’s laughter but with tears that never dried.

Instead of encompassing the entire city, Kazin’s focus is more local: May 29, Thomas Breen rated it it was amazing. A New York must! Kazin vividly records it all.

A Walker in the City

Kazin did not become absorbed as a boy in American history and literature, particularly in the nineteenth-century American past of New York City. There are few anecdotes about particular events.

I recognize similarities between his ‘s Brooklyn Jewish experience to my ‘s queens Italian background including the garment district and the immigrant enclaves.

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